On this day in 2019: Malinga’s last IPL ball wins MI their 4th IPL title

Lasith Malinga

The final match of the IPL 2019 ended in a thrilling encounter when Chennai Super Kings put up a brilliant chase, but failed to conquer MI’s Lasith Malinga in the final over, thereby losing the title by the barest of margins. Malinga was handed the ball for the final over after he had leaked 42 runs in the first three overs of his spell. And he bowled it to perfection, and got a wicket off the final delivery of the game, which would also be the last ball of his IPL career.

Shane Watson and Ravindra Jadeja were on the crease for the chase and had a target of nine runs to achieve in the final over. The game then came down to CSK needing five runs off the last three deliveries. While it seemed easy at the first glance, CSK batters took the pressure over them and as a result, lost Watson for 80(59) in a tragic runout.

Malinga had to defend four runs in the final two deliveries, and Shardul Thakur ran two runs to land the game in a dramatic last ball. Defending two runs of the final delivery, Malinga outsmarted Thakur by bowling a slow off-cutter and dismissing him LBW. CSK had no reviews left in their kitty, and they had to withstand the umpire’s decision that landed in MI’s favor as the Rohit Sharma-led team bagged their fourth IPL title.

Malinga had been smashed for 20 in the 16th over by a rampaging Shane Watson and Dwayne Bravo. Bravo had produced six runs off Malinga’s yorker before the Watson hit three consecutive boundaries to reduce the equation to 42 off 24, which appeared doable at the time. But taking the game into his hands in the final over, Malinga proved why he is a world-class bowler as he continued to remain the leading wicket-taker in the history of IPL.

Kieron Pollard, the Mumbai Indians all-rounder, carried Malinga on his shoulders and paraded around the ground to celebrate his brilliant final over that led to Mumbai’s victory against their arch-rivals CSK.